This post is inspired by the 38th anniversary of Title IX which occurred last week. Actually it's "inspired" by this column by a sportswriter, blogger, and basketball fan. Wendy Parker believes it's time to get beyond Title IX. Me, too. But not in the way she means. She means it's time to move beyond enforcement. Because she doesn't like the proportionality prong. And all those men have suffered at the hands of us "dogmatic" activists with our "life-and-death rituals." Who knew we were all satanists, too? I thought I was the only one!
Clearly Ms. Parker's editorial triggered the snarky button (not that it takes much).
Seriously, though. the day we get to move beyond Title IX is the day after we've gotten beyond patriarchy.
So in the vein of Ms.* Parker's piece I bring you some reasons about why it might be a good idea to move beyond patriarchy--in a sporting context. I could of course go on and on about patriarchy and things like wars, oil spills, environmental degradation, domestic and sexual violence. But there are plenty of other blogs out there for that.
It might be nice to get beyond patriarchy so incidents around the targeting and abuse of women by professional male athletes no longer occurred on a regular basis.
It might be nice to get beyond patriarchy so that female student-athletes at colleges and universities were not accosted by their male counterparts in their dorm rooms while said male athletes are allowed to remain in campus housing.
It might nice to get beyond patriarchy so that these same female student-athletes had access to really nice locker rooms or you know even just basic medical care and the same amount of per diem when they travel.
It might be nice to move beyond patriarchy so that fans of women's sports don't have to go searching for scores from women's events the day after. That they were just there on the ESPN ticker.
It would also be nice if we were able to see some of these events on actual television.
It might be nice to move beyond patriarchy so that when feminist scholars of sport and culture mention that perhaps a certain photo of a female athlete might be a little suggestive and not too helpful to the overall cause of promoting women's sports that said scholar is not verbally abused in a public forum and made to seem irrational. Same is true of female scholars who critique certain violent or homophobic aspects of sport as a whole.
It might be nice to move beyond patriarchy so the gay and queer athletes do not live in fear, do not have to stay in the closet, or have to take that apologetic, neo-liberal stance on their sexuality when they do dare to come out.
It might be nice to move beyond patriarchy so that everyone, no matter one's race, class, religion, gender, sexuality, age or ability, has access to sport.
It might be nice to move beyond patriarchy so that the women in my gym feel safe taking an aerobics class and not worried about being accosted by a middle-aged white guy who threatens them because the music is "too loud."
And it might be nice if gym owners recognized that sexism does not stop at the doors to the gym.
It might be nice to move beyond patriarchy so that no more female sportswriters are attacked/abused while trying to do their jobs.
It might be nice to move beyond patriarchy so that we don't have female sportswriters who say they love women's sports but won't protect them.
* Ms.--brought to you by the feminist movement!